Reviewing OSHA Regulations For Protective Clothing and Industrial Equipment
Choosing the right industrial apparel is vital for implementing an effective personal protective equipment program that will both meet OSHA compliance standards while keeping workers safe on the job. OSHA regulates the use and selection of personal protective industrial equipment and offers a comprehensive guide for every category of hazards and numerous specific applications, with more rules being added as new hazards are identified. The government draws on numerous standards from practical experience and other safety organizations, such as the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in order to produce working rules for employer safety.
In total, these guidelines cover a wide range of topics and fill multiple volumes. This article will endeavor to briefly touch upon industrial apparel selection and usage in a general manner in order to familiarize employers and employees alike with OSHA’s main points. In the end, referring to official documents is necessary to ensure compliance.
OSHA Selection Factors For Personal 7 different types of forklifts Protective Industrial Equipment
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists six factors to consider when selecting industrial apparel and equipment for inclusion in a safety program. All industrial apparel should be evaluated on clothing configuration, components and options, sizes, ease of donning and doffing, clothing construction, accommodation of other selected ensemble equipment, comfort, and restriction of mobility. These factors are used to ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) will fit properly, will not create a hazard in itself, and will provide thorough protection. The available components and options should be weighed against an industry’s specific processes and materials.
For the chemical industry or worksites that utilize chemicals, OSHA has specific rules on industrial apparel. PPE must be chemically resistance in three ways, including permeation, degradation, and penetration of substances to the body. Choosing the right material that offers all three modes of protection requires reference to specific material safety data sheets. Always be aware of chemical interactions and combinations in the case of simultaneous exposure to multiple agents. Furthermore, industrial equipment must also be evaluated for its ability to be decontaminated. In many instances, this means that disposable safety gear is appropriate. Otherwise, chemicals need to be neutralized and clothing laundered before returning it to service.
OSHA also allows for cost considerations to be a part of the selection process. In a compromise to business, safety features should not be cost prohibitive. The exact wording of the OSHA guidelines states that, ‘Protective clothing end users must endeavor to obtain the broadest protective equipment they can buy with available resources to meet their specific application.’ It often helps to shop around with different industrial equipment suppliers to find the best deal that satisfies safety requirements.
Inspecting Industrial Apparel
All equipment must be routinely inspected for proper functioning. Each user needs to be trained in an inspection routine in order to maintain their own PPE in addition to having knowledgeable supervisors. Any of the following issues are a reason to discontinue use of a piece of PPE:
1. Degradation of the …